| | | | | | | |

Chicken Barbecue, Filipino-Style – Inihaw na Manok

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.


AsianInAmericaChickenBarbecueSkewerediPhoneDo you have a secret recipe like one for Chicken Barbecue, Filipino-style or Inihaw na Manok that you keep closely guarded and don’t want to share with anyone? When I ask friends for the recipe of their dish it means I love their cooking and it has made me happy. This is why I don’t get it when people tell me ” It’s a secret family recipe, I am not sharing it with you!” Or this is a classic I often hear “That’s a secret recipe. She is bringing it with her to her grave.” Okay then, here’s my take on that.

I’ve enjoyed so many dishes cooked by friends and family — blueberry cheesecakes, butterscotch bars, chicken Inasal, shrimp relleno, Puto rice cakes and nobody wants to give me the recipe when I ask.  When I ask for the recipe I get that guarded look, the pretend excuse ” oh I don’t have it on me,” the furtive eyes looking away and they quickly change the topic. I’m familiar with that ‘brush off’. Please don’t try that on me next time I ask you for your recipe.

Life is too short to dwell on negativity. So I do not want to waste time on feeling hurt when recipes are hidden from me. Instead I turn people’s rejection into a positive. When someone refuses to let go of that “secret family recipe” it motivates me even more to develop my own, even if it takes me a thousand attempts.

Food is meant to be shared. Happiness that comes from sharing is priceless. My parents always told me, “You will be richer in blessings when you share.”

So here is my latest recipe for Inihaw na Manok, translated it means ‘grilled chicken barbecue’. This is a classic party fare in Filipino homes. The combined sweet-savory flavors are immersed in the succulent chicken pieces so these get devoured soon as it gets off the grill. I am sharing it with you, with the hope that you enjoy it with your family and friends.

Be happy, folks. Share what you know and what you have. You make a difference in someone else’s life when you share what you do best.


Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Chicken Barbecue Filipino-style- Inihaw na Manok

Inihaw na Manok (say 'ee-nee-haw-nah-mah-nok')  is Pilipino which translates to Chicken Barbecue. This barbecue dish is a well-loved grilled entrée and ranks as a top party favorite along with the Pork BBQ skewers I have featured on this blog. The secret is to marinate it the night before. The ingredients are fairly simple and are probably in your pantry already. Just mix it together, pour it on the chicken, keep it in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight. Once you start char-grilling these chicken pieces the aroma that is a medley of sweetness and savory seasonings float all over your backyard. Be prepared for neighbors to come knocking once they sniff the aroma. This is an AsianinAmericamag recipe. Serves 4.
Prep Time1 day
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian, Filipino
Keyword: Filipino Chicken Barbecue Inihaw Manok
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 1127kcal
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino


  • Outdoor grill: Charcoal or Gas


  • 4 pounds chicken thighs boneless, skinless (about 8 to 10 pieces)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup banana ketchup or use tomato catsup
  • 1/8 cup chili sauce bottled
  • 1/4 cup calamansi juice fresh or frozen concentrate; or use lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 can (8 oz) Sprite or 7-Up soda
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 to 10 pieces bamboo skewers pre-soaked in water for 30 minutes before adding meat
  • for serving: boiled white rice


Prepare the marinade:

  • In a medium-sized bowl, combine the soy sauce, banana ketchup, chili sauce, calamansi juice, Sprite soda, garlic, sesame oil, salt and black pepper.
    Pour the marinade over the chicken thighs. Pierce the chicken with a fork for the marinade to absorb.
    Keep the marinated chicken in a resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
    *Note: Or you can freeze the marinated chicken for a week or two till you are ready to grill. Make sure to thaw chicken at room temperature before grilling.

To cook Chicken Barbecue:

  • The next day, skewer the chicken meat in bamboo sticks that were pre-soaked in water for 30 minutes. Use one bamboo skewer for one chicken thigh.
  • Prepare the basting liquid by using the marinade. Or, if preferred make a new mix by using the same marinade ingredients listed above.
    Add the brown sugar to the basting liquid and blend well.
    *Note: I add the sugar at the very end. Sugar crystallizes and can toughen the meat if left in the marinade too long.
  • Spray or brush the grates of the grill with oil so meat does not stick.
    Pre-heat the outdoor grill to a medium-high for 5 to 10 minutes.
    Place the skewered chicken thighs on the grates. Grill the chicken pieces for a total time of 20 to 25 minutes, basting every now and then to have a shiny glaze.
    Flip the skewered chicken after the first half of cooking so they cook thoroughly and evenly on all sides.
    Serve warm with jasmine rice.

Cook's comments:

  • Ingredients like banana ketchup and calamansi juice (frozen or fresh) can be purchased at Asian markets. If not available, substitute with tomato catsup and fresh lemon juice. Meyer lemons are the closest in taste to the Filipino calamansi.
    Boneless chicken thighs are best for this recipe and cook fast. If preferred, use boneless chicken breast. If using chicken breast, tenderize with a meat mallet before marinating.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 1127kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 77g | Fat: 76g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 445mg | Sodium: 2673mg | Potassium: 1059mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 410IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 4.1mg

Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the marinade ingredients. The actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary. The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.

Did you like this recipe? I have more classic recipes inspired by my late mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]

Similar Posts


  1. I feel your pain about secret recipes or about the “secret ingredient” that people won’t tell you so that even if you cook or bake to the same exact recipe they share, it wouldn’t taste the same.

    1. Thanks, Maria. When folks refuse to share a recipe or pretend they don’t remember when I ask for a recipe, I tease them and say “that’s ok, it’s probably on someone’s blog on the internet anyway,” and I get a look of fear. But my point is, food is meant to be shared. Thanks again for the blog visit 🙂

      1. hello i just save your recipe and will be using it when my kids are back this summer. thank you for being generous for sharing. jennifer from philippines

      2. When someone does t share their recipe, I find the most popular recipe on the internet for the same thing they make and I make my food taste better than theirs. I share it with them and others and say “I found a recipe that is so similar to yours, just not as salty as your recipe” and I take in the compliments from people and watch them wonder about their recipe. They are silly for not sharing. Food is meant to be shared.

  2. Haha! Well, you’re generous to share the recipe with us! Agree, life is short and enjoy and share good things with family and friends. And good things will always come back. 🙂 This looks SO good. I wish I can grab it from the computer!

    1. Thanks, Nami. Glad you understand how I feel about recipe sharing. I think as long as we give proper attribution to the origin of the recipe or due credit to the recipe author then that’s the important thing. This is a terrific chicken BBQ recipe which your kids will love 🙂

  3. Thanks for sharing. I have been looking for a Filipino chicken barbecue recipe that calls for a line soda for years. I think you may have it.
    I feel the same way about sharing recipes. Unless it’s copy protected, why not share? My neighbor’s mother was a wonderful Italian home cook. He said she never ever let anyone in the kitchen while she was cooking. Now her delicious meals are all but memories because ofher mentality. I think it’s terrible. Food and its preparation is better when shared with people you love. Isn’t that why from the most modest to the fanciest house, when a party is happening, people congregate in the kitchen. It never fails. And we have a tiny kitchen and I can’t get people out of it.

    1. Thanks, Maria. Your comments are so heartwarming and made my day. Glad you understand my passion for sharing family recipes. They need to be shared with family, friends so that legacies live on and the next generations do not ever forget what real, good food is like. Come visit the blog again, soon 🙂

      1. Hi… just wondering cause im hosting a grill party for canada day… and im looking for a chicken bbq recipe.. can i use chicken leg and thigh bone in and skin for this? Thanks

  4. Hi! Is the sesame oil optional? I can’t find any sesame oil here :|. Thanks for sharing your recipes! 🙂

  5. Hello! I seen u have a sesame oil in the ingredients but i can’t see it anywhere in the procedure. What is the sesame oil for? When/Where do u use it?

    1. Thanks, Frye. You can add the sesame oil together with the marinade ingredients for marinating the chicken. I apologize for the typo error which omitted the sesame oil in the sentence. I just corrected it. Hope your barbecue chicken turns out fantastic. Keep me posted.

  6. Hiya…. Thanks for sharing your yummy BBQ recipe. We are having quests this coming Saturday and I am planning to cook chicken BBQ. This is a great help.
    Many thanks.

  7. Hello! I was wondering if you could do this recipe in an oven instead of a grill? If so, what would the oven temp be? Thanks again for sharing these great recipes! Great food is meant to be shared like you said.

  8. Hi there! Like the girl above me, i was wondering if this recipe can also be done in an oven? I havent visited the philippines in such a long time and Im craving for this style of chicken. We dont have a grill, but we have an oven. Im wondering if that will do

  9. I just want to thank you for sharing your recipe. A friend made this for us (his own version) and I have tried and tried to get mine to taste as good as his and I have not been successful until I ran across your recipe. I so enjoy good food and whenever I make this for anyone I am super excited to introduce them to both the wonderful flavors AND be able to pass along a usable recipe so they can enjoy it over and over too.

  10. Thank you for sharing your recipe! I’m trying it out today for tomorrow’s bbq. Would like to marinate it overnight. I added more garlic though so I’m hoping it will turn up okay. Kung Hei Fat Choy!!!

  11. Hello thank you so much for the recipie I was just wondering what would have to change if I wanted
    To use chicken breast instead of
    Thighs and in the oven. I don’t have a grill unfortunately. ):

  12. Hello, thank you for the recipie! I was just wondering what would have to change if I used chicken breast instead of thighs, and cooked them in the oven? Unfortunately I don’t have a grill. ):

  13. Hellow pi..salamat po s pagshare ng kaalaman..,..gusto ko lang po itanong anu po ang pwede ipalit incase wala po sesame oil..dito kasi samin wala nyan ehh..thanks po..

  14. Hellow po..salamat po s pagshare ng kaalaman..,..gusto ko lang po itanong anu po ang pwede ipalit incase wala po sesame oil..dito kasi samin wala nyan ehh..thanks po..

  15. thanks po mam sa recipe nga ibinigay , sana maliking tulong ito para sa negosyo kong ALACART,… Thnaks very much and God Bless you all the Time..

      1. Good Day maam, Pwede mag-ask nang Favor, Sa Pork Paano emarinate at ang Sauce nito pagkatapos maluto … ano ang kailangan … para maging masarap .. Thanks and God Bless you.

  16. Hi, I just want to say hat a Great recipe posting
    From a person who answered every question
    But not one person said they made it so can’t say
    If it is as GREAT as we think it is, right away people want to suggest changes,,,,,
    Why do we do that?
    Make your own recipe and post it but let’s not butcher a recipe from someone so kind to share a secret recipe. At least try it before making suggestions. Now I have to go and make this the way it is written and I’LL be back with my report. Thank Liz and everyone for listening

    1. Thanks, Bill. This Chicken Barbecue recipe is a top readers’ favorite on this blog according to my site statistics. I hope you enjoy the chicken barbecue as much as everybody else 🙂

  17. Hi… just wondering cause im hosting a grill party for canada day… and im looking for a chicken bbq recipe.. can i use chicken leg and thigh bone in and skin for this? Thanks

    1. Hi Keith. When cooking chicken bone-in on the grill, I keep it covered and turn occasionally. For this amount of chicken, cook on the grill for about 40 to 50 minutes. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 165 F (via an instant read thermometer) for maximum food safety. Hope that info helps. Enjoy the BBQ !

  18. Thank you for this recipe.
    I’m planning on fixing this chicken bbq this coming weekend to celebrate my 2 (two) granddaughters’ 9th and 18th birthdays-both July 26 born.
    Can’t believe our oldest is college-bound.
    Anyway, my family-they all love my Filipino dishes esp. my version of our fried rice, lumpia and pancit and the chicken turbo. Speaking of which, I got each three daughters turbos.
    So back to this recipe, thank you so much for sharing. Your recipe seems to have all the basic ingredients for an authentic and tasty “chicken Q” or “monkey meat'” according to my husband who was in the Navy way back in the 70s in Olongapo. He and his buddies were hooked on this sidewalk vendors’ specialty but I’ve never really tried to fix it yet after all these year!.
    Wish me luck! My husband is the BBQ-er on the Green Egg and I am proud to say, he’s one master chef when it’s time for BBQ-ing.
    I might add or do slight modifications, later on, like some people, but I’m telling you, that’s all because each one of us-we all have our very own individual, unique palate- or I might just stick to your recipe per se.
    Wish me luck, and thanks again, for sharing.

  19. I tried this recipe and my husband’s friend and all my family member really like it.Its so yummie.

  20. Thank you for this. Sharing is a way to have your recipe move on. My aunt made the best ensaymada and she passed away along with her recipe’s. She wrote down the ingredients, but did not write the quantity. Her daughter is trying to perfect it. She’s close, but not exactly like her moms.

  21. I just wanted to thank you for this recipe, it’s absolutely delicious. I visited my other half’s native Philippines last year and have been craving Chicken Barbecue ever since and this is for sure it! Can see this being a regular recipe in our kitchen for a long time!

  22. Hello maam. I just want to ask about the calamansi or lemon juice. Is it the ready or packed juice or the fresh sqeezed lemon or calamansi juice ?

    1. Hi Juvy, if you have freshly-squeezed lemon or calamansi juice, then please use that. If you don’t have fresh lemon or calamansi, you can use the frozen calamansi which I buy in Asian and Filipino stores here in America.

  23. Hi I see some one did ask about what chilli sauce to use so is it a sweet chilli sauce not sriracha or sambal oelek sauce

  24. 5 stars
    A friend requested me to make Filipino style chicken barbecue and I haven’t made it before so I looked up some recipes online, decided to follow yours. It was such a success! It’s the first food that was gone during the party (there were so much other yummy food). I got lots of compliments on it and they enjoyed it. Now I have other food to bring on potlucks which I know people will enjoy. Thank you for sharing this recipe! It was very tasty. I didn’t marinate it overnight as I didn’t have time. I marinated it for about 2 hours. I also used lemon juice instead of calamansi as I didn’t have one. It still turned out great. Thank you!

  25. Thank you for sharing this, I think this is the closest recipe I found similar to my grandma’s recipe. I was just wondering the use of sprite or soda. I prepared bbq marinade for chicken several times but never used soda. Can you please enlighten me the purpose of soda? Also, I used honey instead of sugar and never added sesame oil as chicken is already oily when cooked (it’s just my thought though).

  26. 5 stars
    Made this for New Years minus the chilli sauce and was a massive hit and so tasty. Thanks so much Elizabeth!!

  27. We are going to have a bbq and invited a couple but hisFilipino wife is allergic to calamansi or lemon so with your recioe I will use rice vinegar instead. Fingers crossed hope it will taste ok

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating